By: Hatem Mohamed ABU DHABI, 23rd January, 2018 (WAM) — The UAE has renewed its rejection and condemnation of the Qatari practices of targeting military and civilian aviation and threatening regional security and peace, therefore endangering regional and international air safety and violating relevant international conventions and treaties.
UAE Air Force Brigadier General Helal Saeed al-Qubaisi, said in a media briefing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation today that the Qatari provocative practices will not affect traffic of the UAE military aircraft, adding that the aircraft are to fly alternative routes over Saudi Arabia.
“We have directives from our leadership not to escalate the situation in response to the Qatari provocation in order to maintain regional peace and stability and ensure the safety of the international air navigation and lives of passengers and air crews. However, we will follow all legal international measures and channels against Qatari practices,” al-Qubaisi said.
The UAE announced that Qatari jets intercepted an Emirates airliner and Etihad airliner, in addition to two military transport aircraft.
The UAE military refuted Qatari allegations in the Qatari protest notes to the UN and the Security Council, saying that Qatari intercepted UAE military aircraft over the Arabian Gulf, in addition to intercepting two civilian aircraft which were in regular, scheduled, flights, following well-known routes.
Al Qubaisi noted that the Qatari government does not realise the consequences of such acts that could lead to armed conflicts. He denounced Qatar’s twisting of facts and fabrication of false allegations.
He reiterated the UAE’s condemnation of all Qatari “provocative and hostile actions against the two UAE civilian aircraft, and jeopardise lives of passengers and crews.
Factual slides, video footage, maps, radar screen-shots, presentations and videos obtained from the radars were presented during the meeting as compelling evidence against Qatari false allegations.
Elaborating on the Qatari hostile actions against UAE civilian aircraft, Ahmed Al Jallaf, Assistant Director general of the Sheikh Zayed Air Navigation Centre, said that intercepting civilian flights constitutes an unpresented violation, endangering passengers’ safety.
He said when intercepting the two UAE civilian aircraft while in regular, scheduled flight, the Qatari Mirage fighters had weapons.
“GCAA has already filed a complaint with the International Civil Aviation Organsiation (ICAO) against the Qatari violations as it is the international body concerned with looking into such incidents.”